FRISCO, Texas – Very little has gone right for the Dallas Cowboys through seven games.
In terms of injuries. In terms of execution.
But the front office remains committed to the process in the wake of a 2-5 start, the worst for a Cowboys team since 2010.
"Coach (Mike) McCarthy has been through this before," Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones said Monday on 105.3 The Fan. "When he stepped in at Green Bay I think he started 1-4 (in 2006) and got it up to 4-8 and finished strong. They went on and made the playoffs 11 out of 12 times. This is going to be a work in progress."
McCarthy has never been through a season quite like this one, with the COVID-19 pandemic stalling all in-person team activities until August. Injuries have decimated the offense in particular. Quarterback Dak Prescott is facing a four-to-six-month recovery after ankle surgery, and backup Andy Dalton played behind an offensive line with only one regular starter Sunday against
Washington before exiting in the third quarter with a concussion. The Cowboys have scored a combined 13 points in their first two full games without Prescott.
Defensively, the Cowboys have missed a few starters at various points, but execution in a new scheme has been the primary issue under defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. In Sunday's 25-3 loss, the defense gave up less than 30 points for only the second time this season, but Washington piled up 208 rushing yards, dropping Dallas to last in the league in run defense (178.3 allowed per game). They're also 32nd in average points allowed (34.7).
"Certainly no excuse, but you take injuries that have come especially on the offensive side of the ball," Jones said. "And we were aggressive in trying to change some things up on the defensive side and the players are still trying to get their hands around on what we're trying to get accomplished on the defensive side in terms of changing a system in times where you didn't get the full offseason.
"At the end of the day, we've got to go to work. There's still a lot of football left this season. I do believe that we've got the right kind of guys, the right type of players on this football team that are continuing to go to work every day."
Jones emphasized he understands the frustration from the fan base at 2-5. But clearly the organization believes in staying the course with a team and staff in their first year together.
"I think we're going in the right direction. I think Coach McCarthy and his staff, it's going to take time for them to implement what they do and the way they play," Jones said.
"Mike brings consistency to the table and it will ultimately happen here. We completely understand that there's going to be criticisms and questions until we start to put a product on the field that deserves to start to eliminate some of those question marks and criticism."